April 29, 2021
Raisi is Likely to Nominate
Manouchehr Mottaki of the Unity Council, a large Principalist organisation, said in an interview that Ebrahim Raisi is showing more signs that he will nominate than he did a month ago. Raisi, the Chief Justice of Iran, is considered the Principalist’s preferred candidate, although the clerical faction have also sought Raisi as their candidate. Raisi to date has rejected claims that he will run.
April 25, 2021
Hashemi-Taba’s Bleak Predictions for the Elections
Prominent Reformist politician Mostafa Hashemi-Taba gave his bleak assessment of the electoral situation in an interview. He stated that neither the Reformists nor the Principalists had strong candidates, and the electorate does not seem that engaged this time. Hashemi-Taba said that while Ebrahim Raisi is something of a favourite, that he will only win if there is a poor turnout.
April 19, 2021
Qalibaf lists Three Conditions for Running for President
Saazandegi Daily today reported that the Speaker of the Parliament, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, has sent a message to the main Principalist organisations setting out three conditions for him to run for President: Ebrahim Raisi will not run; an official announcement must be made stating that Qalibaf is in no way connected to the corruption case of Isa Sharifi; Principalists will also support Qalibaf’s candidacy in the next Presidium elections for the Parliament.
April 18, 2021
Saeed Mohammad: If Raisi Nominates, I Will Help Him
Controversial candidate Saeed Mohammad said on Sunday that he will stand aside and support senior Principalist Ebrahim Raisi if he chooses to run. In a sign that Mohammad is trying to play down his maverick image and present himself as a team player, he said that he had been in conversations with one of the two main Principalist organisations on the issue, the Unity Council, and was waiting to hear from the other group, the Coalition Council. Regardless, he said that he was committed to a unified platform that would not split the conservative vote. Raisi is the preferred candidate of the Principalists but has resisted nominating himself so far.
Read more on Tasnim
April 14, 2021
Zibakalam: Who will Ultimately be the Principalist Candidate
Esteemed political scientist, Prof Sadegh Zibakalam of the University of Tehran, outlined his analysis on the four main Principalist candidates: Ebrahim Raisi, Mohsen Rezaei, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf and Saeed Jalili. Zibakalam argued that Raisi would be a clear favourite as he is the candidate most likely to win at this stage, however it is not clear if he will accept an invitation from the two prominent Princpalist organisations, the Coalition Council and the Unity Council, to run. In Zibakalam’s view, the Principalist choice is between Raisi and Qalibaf at the moment, and other candidates like Saeed Mohammad, Ali Nikzad, Ezzatollah Zarghami and Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh, stand no chance of being supported by the Principalist bloc. For Saeed Mohammad, the problem is that he is too much like a young Ahmadinejad, and the Principalist camp of 2021 is not going to make the same choice as the did in 2005. However, Zibakalam added that if Raisi does not run, Saeed Mohammad would still pose a threat to whomever the Princpalists chose, effectively splitting the conservative vote.
April 13, 2021
Sobhani: Promise of Subsidies is Abuse of the People
Independent candidate and economist Hassan Sobhani stated today that while he had been against subsidies in the past, he was also opposed to eliminating them. However, Sobhani said it was irresponsible how some candidates made promises of subsidies to win the popular vote: “the people’s economic fragility should not be abused in order to achieve the power”. The government has historically subsidised many daily items, such as bread and fuel, and the removal of these subsidies has caused violent unrest, most recently in late 2019. Sobhani’s comments can be interpreted as a swipe at other candidates, notably election favourite Ebrahim Raisi, who in 2017 promised an increase in subsidies as part of his election campaign.
April 13, 2021
Eftekhari: Vahid-Dastjerdi has the Qualifications to be President
Laleh Eftekhari, a former member of Parliament and member of the Women’s Advisory Council in the Principalist Unity Council, yesterday stated that among Iranian women, Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi had the qualifications to be President, having served in the cabinet previously but that “she herself must be willing to take this step” before Principalists would consider supporting her candidacy. In the same interview, Eftekhari expressed support for Ebrahim Raisi as a unifying candidate.
April 6, 2021
Mottaki: Ebrahim Raisi is the Preferred Candidate for Principalists
Manouchehr Mottaki, the former foreign minister and current spokesperson for the Unity Council of Principalists, stated that Ebrahim Raisi was still the preferred candidate for the Principalist faction. Mottaki added that his organisation, the Unity Council, was also in talks with several other declared candidates in order to judge their ideological suitability. Raisi is yet to announce his candidacy and has previously stated that he would not run.
March 30, 2021
Raisi Once Again Rules out Race for the Presidency.
Ebrahim Raisi, seen as one of the most popular potential candidate and a favourite for the Principalist faction, has once again ruled out running for President. When asked if he would register, he stated that “I don’t think of anything other than the Judiciary”, in reference to his current position. As with another favourite Mohammad-Javad Zarif, Raisi has repeatedly denied he intends to run, but is still likely to change his mind.